Dedication to my son

I love taking pictures of Braden when he’s sleeping. I probably have hundreds of them. I like to look at them while I’m reflecting on the day. But, today was one of the hard days. We had so many arguments, about the same thing, all day long. I hate it.

Earlier today I had a woman tell me that I was such a good mom. That Braden was so sweet because I’m so sweet to him. But, I didn’t feel like a good mom today. And I definitely didn’t feel like I was sweet. In fact, I feel quite the opposite.

Being a mom is really hard on the soul. As I tucked B into bed, we both apologized for the way we acted and promised each other that we would try harder to not argue. As I wiped the last of his tears away, we hugged tightly, said our “I love you’s”, and agreed that tomorrow would be a new day to start over.

But my heart is still so sad. I hate days like today. I want every day to be fun and silly and full of laughter. I know that’s not reality, but a mom can dream right?

Braden, I love you so much and I hope that as we both continue to grow, we learn to give each other more grace.

You are my everything.

I love you,

Your mama.

dedication to my son

Updated on October 3, 2018

Music touches my soul, when I am not singing, dancing or playing an instrument, I am writing articles about the songs that I hold dear.

A parent’s love for a child is like a seed: it begins with the anticipation of birth and continues to develop and strengthen throughout the years. Becoming a parent involves a metamorphosis, where self-interest takes a back seat to selfless love and unconditional devotion. Once you become a parent there is no going back to independence: you are forever connected to another soul.

Parents often discover these feelings of love and devotion are far greater than they could have ever imagined.

There really are places in the heart you don’t even know exist until you love a child.

— Anne Lamott

Here is a collection of songs that express the immense feelings of parental love. From a timeless bedtime lullaby written and sung by Billy Joel, to a song of inspiration and thankfulness upon the gift of a child by Celine Dion, each song may have a different vantage point but they all express this selfless, awe-inspiring experience of being a parent.

1. Tim McGraw – “My Little Girl”

Album: Tim McGraw Reflected: Greatest Hits Vol. 2.

Year: 2006

Part of the soundtrack to the movie “Flicka”, this country song touches on a father’s love for his little girl. Although he wants the best for his daughter, he admits that at times she has him wrapped around her finger. He wants his daughter to grow up and not be afraid to take on the world, while at the same time, he realizes that he will always see her as his little girl. This sweet ode to a father’s love for his daughter reached #3 on the Billboard Country chart and #35 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Lyrics to watch for:

Chase your dreams but always know the road that’ll lead you home again.
Go on, take on this whole world.
But to me you know you’ll always be, my little girl.

2. Stevie Wonder – “Isn’t She Lovely”

Album: Songs in the Key of Life

Year: 1976

This catchy song about the heavenly beauty of a baby girl might grab you on the first beat and never let you go. It is a timeless classic, written and sung by a living legend. Stevie Wonder wrote the song to celebrate the birth of his daughter, Aisha, and the outro contains some actual recordings of father and daughter playing together. In this song, Stevie Wonder perfectly captures the essence and emotion of loving a lovely, beautiful, heaven sent daughter.

Lyrics to watch for:

Isn’t she lovely
Isn’t she wonderful
Isn’t she precious

I can’t believe what God has done
Through us he’s given life to one
But isn’t she lovely made from love

3. Rascal Flatts – “My Wish”

Album: Me and My Gang

Year: 2006

Written by the song-writing powerhouse of Jeffrey Steele and Steve Robson, this song was written for Steele’s 13 year-old daughter, Justine. The song expresses a wish that her “dreams stay big” and “worries stay small.” Steele himself puts it best:

I was just thinking about how crazy the world is right now for a kid to grow up in. I started writing it like I wanted her to know whatever she did in life, somebody was thinking about her all the time. Someone was always behind her no matter what.

What seems like a departing message for a child leaving home also works as a reminder for us all about being true to yourself, being a kind human being, and hopefully finding a soul mate to make life complete.

Lyrics to watch for:

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small.

4. Elton John – “Blessed”

Album: Made in England

Year: 1995

This song is about a dream of a child, a child that has not been born yet. While at this time in his life, Elton John never desired to have children, lyricist Bernie Taupin penned these words expressing his own wish to have a child before he was too old. Taupin knew that his child would be “blessed” with his love and devotion.

Lyrics to watch for:

I need you before I’m too old
To have and to hold
To walk with you and watch you grow
And know that you’re blessed

5. John Lennon – “Beautiful Boy”

Album: Double Fantasy

Year: 1980

The song was written for his son Sean, his only child with Yoko Ono. It begins with the singer comforting the child from a nightmare and turns into a passionate and heartfelt expression of the love and joy that he has for his son. The song expresses optimism for his son’s future. The famous quote, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” comes from this song. In 2004 Celine Dion also released a version of this song.

Lyrics to watch for:

Out on the ocean sailing away,
I can hardly wait,
To see you to come of age

Life is just what happens to you,
While you’re busy making other plans

6. Clark Richard – “Red Robin”

Album: Kissing Kelley

Year: 2010

Beginning with the early years and continuing through college, the song “Red Robin” touches on the tender moments and the building of trust between a father and daughter. A gentle voice softly tells of a strong bond that will be there no matter how far apart they are:

Though I won’t always be here

This you surely know

That I’ll quietly spot you

Anywhere you go

Not surprisingly, it is one of the most popular song choices at weddings for the father/daughter dance.

Album: Songs for Silverman

Year: 2008

Singer-songwriter Ben Folds had already written a song for his son Louie, “Still Fighting It,” and knew he couldn’t leave his daughter Gracie out. Describing the process of writing the song, he told an interviewer:

“I write songs for a very small audience. In that case it was for one. A lot of times it’s for no one; it’s for me. Everyone has similar experiences, so I don’t really write to the universal. ‘Gracie’ is a good example of that. It’s just for Gracie. The first line is, ‘I saw you when you came out.’ That’s a pretty graphic line for a kid, but I knew she’d think that is funny.”

Speaking of the unique bond a father can have with his daughter, Ben Folds gently and tenderly expresses his feelings for his daughter, Gracie. With a simple melody and an inviting lyrics, Ben Folds reveals the respect and responsibility he feels towards his daughter as she grows.

Lyrics to watch for:

One day you’re gonna want to go
I hope we taught you everything you need to know
Gracie girl

And there will always be a part of me
Nobody else is ever gonna see but you and me
My little girl

8. Miley Cyrus and Billy Ray Cyrus – “Ready, Set, Don’t Go”

Album: Home at Last

Year: 2007

This song focuses on the mixed feelings of a father about the prospect of his daughter leaving home. Billy Ray Cyrus wrote it when his daughter Miley moved to LA to jumpstart her acting career. The song was both a commercial and critical success, reaching #85 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was later re-released as a duet with his daughter, Miley, who at age 14 was enjoying her first musical success as well. The duet version peaked at #37 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Lyrics to watch for:

I’m at the startin’ line of the rest of my life
As ready as I’ve ever been
Got the hunger and the stars in my eyes
The prize is mine to win

She’s waitin’ on my blessings before she hits that
open road
Baby get ready
Get set
Don’t go

9. Billy Joel – “Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)”

Album: River of Dreams

Year: 1993

This frequently covered song was written about Joel’s own daughter, Alexa Rey. A master of lyric and melody, Billy Joel easily expresses the simple yet profound relationship between a parent and child in this bedtime lullaby. This timeless and memorable song encapsulates the message of endless wishes and unconditional love that is felt by a parent for his child. As with other Billy Joel songs, this song manages to capture and combine both the mystical beauty and finite reality of life.

In 2004, Joel published a children’s book based on the song, titled Goodnight My Angel (A Lullabye).

Lyrics to watch for:

Wherever you may go
No matter where you are
I never will be far away

You’ll always be a part of me

10. Celine Dion – “A New Day Has Come”

Album: A New Day Has Come

Year: 2002

Celine Dion recorded this song after taking some time off to have and raise her son, Rene-Charles Dion Angelil. In this song, Dion shares her amazement at the miracle of having a new child. The thrill that comes with the birth of a child and the fulfillment of a lifelong dream of becoming a parent is expressed in this uplifting song.

The song was both a commercial and critical success, with critics praising Dion’s restrained vocal performance and reaching #22 on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s hard not to feel Dion’s joy at being parent when listening to this song.

Lyrics to watch for:

Hush now I see a light in your eyes
All in the eyes of a boy

I can’t believe I’ve been touched by an angel with love

11. Martina McBride – “In My Daughter’s Eyes”

Album: Martina

Year: 2003

“In My Daughter’s Eyes” tells the story of a mother rediscovering “what life is all about through daughter’s eyes.” While we expect that typically the parent hands down lessons to the child, this song reveals that the child offers life lessons to the parent as well. Lessons in equality, peace, strength and perseverance are reciprocal gifts between mother and child.

Lyrics to watch for:

And when she wraps her hand
around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about

12. Lee Ann Womack – “I Hope You Dance”

Album: Sons of the Desert

Year: 2000

With lessons about keeping perspective, a sense of wonder, living life to the fullest and never giving up, this song offers a message that is appropriate for a child or a friend.

Lyrics to watch for:

Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,

Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance….I hope you dance.

I love reading the front part of a novel where an author dedicates the book to someone. It’s always so touching to see the sweet words of love and appreciation.

Most of the dedications are usually to family members, husbands, children, or parents. Sometimes authors will dedicate a book to an agent or a critique partner. Or sometimes the dedication will be more general to a group of people, like I did with my recent release Hearts Made Whole which reads:

“To all the women who worked in lighthouses: Thank you for your courage and for showing that women are capable of doing anything.”

dedication to my son

As I was thinking about some of my other dedications, I realized that I tend to gravitate toward dedicating my books to my parents. Now as a parent myself, I see so much more clearly the hard work, dedication, commitment, and self-sacrifices they made for me. Being a parent makes me appreciate my parents all the more.

My mother is still alive and lives just a few miles away from me. So thankfully we enjoy a wonderful friendship. She continues to support, encourage, and bless me in countless ways.

My father passed away unexpectedly when I was in college. He was only 50 years old at the prime of his life with kids in college and a thriving career as a Lutheran pastor. The night he died he was playing in a racquetball tournament. In the middle of one of his games, he fell to the ground, and died of a massive heart attack. It shocked and devastated us all.

Even though it’s been nearly twenty-five years since he died, I can’t help thinking of him in a special way, especially as Father’s Day approaches.

I remember the way he used to sing so beautifully, the sound of his voice rising above all the others around him. I remember the way he loved to play the guitar, especially while leading children in worship. I remember the way he taught me how to play softball and basketball, the countless hours he spent playing catch or rebounding for me.

I remember his thick stack of note cards of Bible verses he’d written out and memorized. He’d flip through the cards often to review them. I remember his passion for his church, his love for his people, and his desire to be used by God.

And of course with such a passionate and driven man, I also remember some of the moments of frustration, the times when people hurt him or the times when he mourned over people who were hurting and lost.

Although my father is no longer physically present in my life, I still feel his impact every day.

My Luther and Katharina book releases in the fall and I’m dedicating it to him. Here’s what I wrote:

“This book is for you, Dad. As a Lutheran pastor you embodied Martin Luther in so many ways: in personality, love of family, devotion to the gospel, and passion for your flock. You were well-loved everywhere you served. As you look down from heaven, I hope you’re proud of your little girl.”

dedication to my son

Happy Father’s Day to Dads past and present!

Readers, if you could dedicate a book to someone, who would it be? And writers, who are some of the people you’ve dedicated your books to?

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Award-winning author Jody Hedlund makes her home in central Michigan with her husband and five children. When she’s not busy with her family, she loves to read and consume large amounts of chocolate and coffee.

I need you to touch,
I need you to see,
I need you so much,
I need you with me.

My life feels so empty,

My heart feels so cold.
I need you beside me,
I need you to hold.

Why were you taken?

I ask that each day,
But no one will answer,
I therefore now pray.

I pray that you’re happy,

I pray that you’re safe,
I pray that I’ll hear you,
And that I have faith.

That’s all I have now

I have to believe
In life beyond this one,
We all must achieve.

Come to me, Liam,

And whisper my name.
Tell me you’re happy,
and I’ll be the same.

My life at the moment

Is empty and dark.
The light that once shone
Has gone out in my heart.

more by Deborah Robinson

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